Much of St. Rita's Catholic Church on 7th Avenue in Castlegar was destroyed by fire Monday, March 25, 2013. Investigators have determined the blaze, and another involving a van earlier the same night, was deliberately set.

Much of St. Rita's Catholic Church on 7th Avenue in Castlegar was destroyed by fire Monday, March 25, 2013. Investigators have determined the blaze, and another involving a van earlier the same night, was deliberately set.

Monday night fires in Castlegar confirmed as arson

Two fires in Castlegar on Monday, March 25 have now been confirmed as deliberately set.

Investigators are now confirming two fires — at St. Rita’s Catholic Church and a vehicle owned by the Red Cross at Kinnaird Community Church — on Monday, March 25 were deliberately set.

“This act is a serious occurrence at any time of the year but especially disturbing with the Easter season soon to be upon us,” said Sgt. Laurel Mathew of the Castlegar RCMP detachment in a press release.

Castlegar RCMP along with resources from the Kootenay Boundary Regional General Investigation Section, Castlegar Fire Department and B.C. Fire Commissioners Office are involved in the investigation.

Officers are completing scene examinations, interviewing witnesses and following up on any tips or information received from the public. St. Rita’s church is located at 513 – 7th Ave and Kinnaird Community Church is located in the 1200 block of 26th Street.

RCMP investigators are asking anyone who may have taken video or photographs of the Catholic Church fire to please attend the Castlegar Detachment and pass along the footage or photos.

Police are seeking the public’s assistance: if any person saw something suspicious in either area on the night of March 25, 2013, or have any information with respect to the fires, they’re asked to call the Castlegar RCMP at  250-365-7721 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

Callers to CRIME STOPPERS remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward.

 

Castlegar News